Zoe Burger, MD candidate
This summer I will be working with Dr. Timothy Rodwell and Dr. Marva Seifert to assess how HIV status affects tuberculosis (TB) load in diverse sample matrices as detected by Xpert MTB/RIF. This molecular diagnostic assay identifies Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) and resistance to rifampin (RIF) using nucleic acid amplification (NAA). In this study, we will use multiple databases containing more than 300,000 patient records from the Myanmar National TB Program collected over the last four years documented as part of an electronic reporting system developed with the assistance of the Foundation for Innovative and New Diagnostics (FIND). Since timely diagnosis and treatment of TB is extremely important among people living with HIV, understanding how Xpert MTB/RIF can be further incorporated as an effective global health technology can lead to earlier identification of TB co-infection and lower mortality for these patients.
Audreana Brancaccio, BSPH candidate
I am currently attending UCSD to get my Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH). I am a San Diego native and a transfer student from San Diego Mesa College. I love the San Diego community and feel so blessed to be a part of UC San Diego! After high school I attended a trade school for dental assisting where I found my passion within patient care. I decided to go back to school in order to further my education and my ability to better serve my community. Through my educational experience, I have found a resounding interest in human biology and the Spanish language. I a pre-PA student and aspire to transition my passions into patient care. San Diego is very close to the Mexico border and there is a large need for medical providers who are fluent in the Spanish language and have a good understanding of cultural competency. I feel that I have found my niche in compounding my love for the Spanish language with my passion for patient care. I applied to the Global Health Institute here at UCSD for a grant to attend CENEU’s Spanish Immersion Program. I have been strengthening my Spanish skills for just over six years and I truly believe that an immersion experience will give me the confidence I need in order to speak Spanish with patients. Additionally, I will be gaining valuable knowledge by shadowing the medical and cultural systems of Xochicalco, Mexico. My goal is to become a puzzle piece within the network of medical providers who are working to bridge existing cultural gaps within the medical field.